(April 4)  In a single argument in favor of government subsidies and mandates for electric vehicles, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg evinced a vast lack of logic that, alas, is all too typical from the political Left.

The logic stems from a willful refusal to distinguish between free-market demand and government compulsion.

First, the background: In an April 2 interview, Fox News host John Roberts cited a major drop in EV sales by Tesla and massive layoffs at Ford’s EV truck plant as a prelude to asking why the Biden administration is throwing so much taxpayer money at EVs while issuing mandates for their sales and use. Indeed, Roberts could have cited numerous other statistics and reports troubling the EV industry.

Buttigieg, whose record as a mediocre mayor of a small town combined with his embarrassing Cabinet performance hasn’t dimmed his self-assurance at all, insisted that leftist government commissars are right: “The automotive sector is moving to EVs, and we can’t pretend otherwise.” This is true only in the sense that with taxpayer subsidies enticing them and government mandates threatening them, automakers and feeder industries have made big investments in EV production. In the past six months, though, they have regretted those investments, shutting down plants or production lines all across the country.

Buttigieg’s astonishingly ludicrous remark, though, came after his boilerplate about where the automotive sector is moving.

“Sometimes, when these debates happen,” he said, “I feel like it’s the early 2000s, and I’m talking to some people who think that we can just have landline phones forever.” Later, he compared EVs to the market for regular automobiles in the 1910s.


On phones, Buttigieg is comparing apples (or eventually Apples) to vehicles the public considers to be lemons. And he’s comparing an organically developed market for cellphones with an EV market that still barely exists despite hugely costly government attempts to create one artificially. The government didn’t spend the 1980s and 1990s giving massive taxpayer subsidies to cellphone manufacturers. Cell towers were built by private companies with no government help…. [The full column is at this link.]


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